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Your Guide to Certificate of Insurance Tracking

Companies across industries often engage with numerous contractors, vendors, and suppliers. As many of these organizations can attest, as the scale of operations expands, the number and intricacy of these arrangements can grow exponentially.

From an insurance perspective, each third-party collaboration introduces unique risks, underscoring the importance of meticulously tracking coverage.

Whether you are a seasoned professional or a newcomer to risk management, understanding how to navigate and keep up with multiple contractual relationships is essential.

We explain how you can proactively address the risks associated with contractors, vendors, and suppliers to ensure that you're well-prepared to safeguard your company’s interests.

Key Takeaways

  • COI tracking is a strategic risk mitigation practice used to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the insurance status of external partners.
  • Be sure to choose a COI monitoring software that fully automates vendor tracking and offers the right options for your company.
  • BCS offers a selection of premier full-service and self-service tracking solutions for whatever your business needs.

What Is Certificate of Insurance Tracking?

This process involves the management and oversight of insurance coverage for third-party entities like contractors and vendors. Essentially, it ensures that these external partners maintain adequate insurance to mitigate potential risks and liabilities.

A COI serves as proof of coverage. It details policy specifics such as coverage types, limits, effective dates, and the insurer's contact information. This involves systematic collection, review, and monitoring of these certificates to confirm compliance with contractual requirements and organizational risk management standards.

Insurance tracking typically harnesses software automation to organize insurance-related documentation and key data points such as policies, limits, endorsements, additional insured language, and more to streamline operations, minimize errors, and optimize efficiency.

Some software providers are not fully equipped to completely automate vendor management for you, so make sure you look for the best solution for your company.

The Importance of Insurance Tracking

Managing the multitude of physical insurance documents can quickly become a logistical challenge for many companies. This makes the adoption of insurance tracking software more important than ever.

  • Tracking software not only automates manual tasks like email communication and document storage but also streamlines the entire process of COI oversight and vendor onboarding.
  • The software offers automation features such as email template creation and renewal reminders, simplifying the management of COIs.
  • The technology enables effortless collection and monitoring of essential insurance documents, helping easily identify and rectify deficiencies or expired policies promptly.

Tracking Certificates of Insurance for Free

When it comes to organizing and monitoring certificates of insurance (COIs), businesses often face the decision of handling the process in-house or outsourcing it to specialists. While handling this in-house may be more cost-effective, it's crucial to recognize that there is an inherent cost, even if the process is managed internally. With the option to automate certificate of insurance tracking, businesses can take control and streamline their processes for free.

Time spent by team members translates to internal resources diverted from revenue-driving activities, and as the business expands its partnerships, the time investment grows.

However, for those opting for in-house options, there are several free resources and tools available that can support these operations.

Free Resources

IRMI (International Risk Management Institute): A leading source of reputable information on insurance and risk management, offering thousands of free articles and a premium subscription option.

bcs University: An expanding library of quick video explainers aimed at equipping businesses with knowledge related to risk management, freely available for use.

Free Tools

Resources and information can only take you so far. At some point, you’ll have to start putting that learning to work. Here’s how you can use common tools as a free solution to manage your COIs:

Using Email Tasks

If you only have a few vendors to keep up with, it’s possible to do it by setting tasks or reminders within an email provider. Both Gmail and Outlook, for example, have task features that allow users to set reminders and assign dates, which can be useful for scheduling check-ins as existing insurance documentation approaches expiration.

Using Quickbooks

If you use Quickbooks for your business finances, it is possible to use it to monitor coverage status for your vendors as well. For a breakdown of how to approach this, check out this post in Quickbooks’ support section.

Using a Professionally-Made Spreadsheet

In our experience, the single best way to keep up with certificates of insurance in-house is by building out a spreadsheet. So much so that we went ahead and produced a free template that anyone can use. Simply click the following link to download the template and get started!

The Most Important Features of COI Tracking Software

Selecting the right solution for your business involves careful consideration of company size, budget, risk tolerance, and the volume of vendor interactions, among other factors

Here are some key features to look for to help guide your decision-making process:

Collecting & Cataloging COIs

The foundational function of any COI solution is the ability to collect and track certificates. Consider the automation level of this process to enhance efficiency and productivity.

Document Review by Compliance Experts

A robust COI solution should offer access to a dedicated compliance team for expert document review.

Meet Due Diligence & Coverage Compliance

The ability to audit COIs for compliance across various areas, including insurance policies, contract requirements, and regulatory standards, is crucial for protecting your business from claim eligibility issues.

Robust Analytics & Reporting

Effective risk management relies on data. Look for solutions with advanced analytics and reporting capabilities to organize and leverage data for informed decision-making.

Simple Vendor Onboarding

Streamline the onboarding process for new vendors by choosing a solution with user-friendly functionalities. For instance, the BCS App's click-and-connect feature simplifies vendor submission, saving time and effort.

Network Access

Opt for a dedicated tracking solution that offers access to an existing vendor network. This not only reduces onboarding time but also provides a pool of talent for future projects, saving valuable resources.

Full-Service Vs. Self-Service Insurance Tracking

When deciding between full-service and self-service solutions, factors such as company needs, available resources, and operational preferences can play a crucial role.

Self-service solutions equip companies with software for streamlined document management, allowing the team to maintain control over the process with dedicated platform support. This option offers efficiency, easy access to documentation, and enhanced organization, however, it comes with the requirement of some staffing for document review and correction.

Full-service COI tracking integrates specialized software with human expertise, outsourcing the majority of labor associated with document review and management. This approach minimizes the time and effort required on the company's end, providing a dedicated team for support. The benefits include greater expertise in identifying compliance issues and reducing third-party risk, as well as access to insightful, centralized dashboards and detailed reports. However, the cost tends to be higher for this level of service.

The Benefits of Full-Service Insurance Tracking Software

Managing various COIs for compliance and risk transfer is often a demanding and time-consuming task. To alleviate this challenge, businesses are increasingly turning to full-service insurance solutions.

Here are some benefits of adopting full-service tracking capabilities:

Time-Saving Efficiency

A quality full-service solution streamlines the collection, review, and correction of COIs, achieving a high standard of third-party risk mitigation without exhaustive efforts from your team.

Comprehensive Compliance

Ensuring COI compliance is paramount for claims eligibility and avoiding substantial settlements. Full-service solutions go beyond basic auditing, delving into contract requirements, insurance policies, ACORD forms, endorsement language, and other critical factors to thoroughly assess and mitigate risks.

Risk Reduction

Full-service offerings delve into coverage terms, exposing key details and exclusions that could pose risks to your organization.

Team Support

Some full-service solutions offer inbound and outbound vendor support, ensuring compliance with contract terms and relevant regulations. Acting as an extension of your team, these tracking programs represent your interests in vendor interactions.

Vendor Management

Comprehensive full-service programs provide additional features to ease the management of existing vendors and enhance the efficiency of onboarding new ones.

Automated RFPs

Full-service solutions can automate the request for proposal (RFP) process, allowing users to broadcast jobs to vendors and use algorithms to locate potential matches.

Critical Insight

Risk managers rely on accurate and relevant data for informed decision-making. Full-service solutions with robust analytics and reporting tools provide real-time insights that inform strategic choices and direction for your company's exposure.

The bcs Difference

bcs stands out as a leader in COI tracking solutions, offering an app-based platform for seamless and efficient monitoring.

The self-service option provides powerful tools for you to take charge of the process yourself, while the full-service option includes in-depth guidance from industry experts every step of the way.

bcs is an industry-leading provider of insurance tracking software renowned for its high-quality services and advanced features.

Our full-service solution, powered by a user-friendly app and a team of expert compliance analysts, ensures you receive the best support and top-notch benefits for your business.

bcs also offers a self-service option, providing your team with access to our cutting-edge software for COI collection and review.

Don't miss out on the advantages that efficient COI tracking can bring to your business. Contact us to schedule a demo today!

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